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Facing Change As A Family

Change – sometimes hard to live with, nearly impossible to avoid.  People are creatures of comfort, so change sometimes comes as an unwelcome guest.  But even positive change can cause people to feel disrupted and anxious.  An entire family facing change means there are more feelings, more reactions, more questions, and more hopes to account for.

Imagine your family is selling your house and looking for a new one at the same time.  After you list the house, much of the selling part is out of your control.  You are at once juggling the upkeep of your current home, jumping up and leaving the house for showings, looking at potential homes to buy, keeping an eye out for school transfers, and any emotional attachments to your current neighborhood.

This is a ton to deal with.  You are uprooting and trying to settle all at the same time.  This can be tough on your emotions and your kids.  You and your spouse may have different ideas of what you want in the next home, your kids may be upset about leaving friends, and your heart strings might be tugged as you get ready to emotionally detach from your current home.  Even if everyone says they are excited about the changes, mixed feelings are bound to crop up.

There isn’t really a cure for this – it’s normal to feel disrupted and a little frustrated when you are on the edge of big change.  It’s easy to snap and bicker with family members as tensions rise.  Attempts at humor may be misinterpretted as criticism.  Miscommunication or age-typical forgetfulness can spark raised voices from a parent.

When your family feels like it’s in the middle of a whirlwind like that, it’s important to remember that your family is there as a haven.  It’s meant to be the thing that keeps everyone afloat during uncertain times.  To combat the anxiety and tension, plan some easy family fun time.  Favorite board games, playing tag in the yard, watching comedy movies – whatever will make everyone laugh and have fun together.  Being together and releasing tension will help you remember what you are all together for.

Your worries can melt away more easily when you remember that you’re all facing the change as a team.  Change is unavoidable, but it is survivable.  Of course, change for a bad reason (like losing a job or a death in the family) is going to be more challenging than something everyone is generally looking forward to.  But the same concept applies.  Have some fun and release the stress – you’re all in this together.

Facing Change As A Family

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP is a practicing licensed mental health counselor in Nebraska.

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APA Reference
Krull, E. (2009). Facing Change As A Family. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 1 Aug 2009
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